Just like its neighbouring country Singapore, Malaysians’ favourite past time is shopping. The country is hence well-known for its Mega Sale Carnival which attracts both locals and tourists alike to its capital city – Kuala Lumpur every year. In recent years, however, a new shopping experience is fast capturing the hearts and wallets of Malaysians. They have gone from brick and mortar shopping to online retail therapy!

The Rise Of eCommerce In Malaysia

The online retail scene has grown exponentially globally in recent years, and Malaysia is no exception. In fact, different analysts have revealed that Malaysia is outperforming its ASEAN neighbours in terms of eCommerce sales growth, projected to increase from US$8.3 billion in 2019 to US$12.9 billion in 2022. Over the same period, the country’s consumer spending is forecast to grow at a rate of five per cent annually.

Here are the few factors that drove this growth:

  • eCommerce consumers in Malaysia have grown substantially in 2020

  • The country is becoming increasingly affluent and is on track to attain the status of a developed country

  • The population is increasingly educated, transiting toward middle income and hence have high incentives for pursuing cheaper sources of products (such as online sales)

  • High internet and smartphone penetration

  • The recent pandemic resulted in lockdowns which propelled the acceptance of online shopping

Malaysia Savvy Online Shoppers

Most Malaysians are online shoppers. A third of the population make online transactions, such as buying items or paying bills. Surprisingly, men are just as likely to shop online as women, based on a study of the eCommerce habits of undergraduate and postgraduate students in Malaysia. Despite featuring more female participants, the study found that at least 50 per cent of both male and female respondents shopped once a month or more.

Malaysians like to shop online because it offers the convenience of having their purchases delivered straight to their doorstep. The ease of comparing prices across different online retailers and even countries gives Malaysians a wider variety of products and price points to make their selection from.

Malaysians are savvy shoppers who rely on articles and blogs, infographics and videos when deciding what to buy and where they will buy the desired product from. They also actively seek out information from product reviews, compare products with their alternatives and follow product launch updates. In addition, they are also very good with their use of Lazada vouchers.

Where Are Malaysians Shopping Online?

Many Malaysians shop online on websites like Amazon or Alibaba’s Tmall and why foreign sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are making their way into local buyers’ lingo. Locally, Lazada, Mudah, Lelong, Shopee, and 11street attract a large chunk of Malaysia’s eCommerce consumers. Lazada is quite successful. It is the only eCommerce platform among Malaysians’ top visited websites. Both Lazada and Shopee, though, joined the top 10 list of apps with the most active monthly mobile users.

Malaysian eCommerce consumers use a variety of payment methods, such as cash on delivery (COD), credit card, and online transfer. Mobile banking is the most popular method of paying for online purchases. On the other hand, the slew of new payment options like mobile payments means that these options shouldn’t be ignored either.

We hope that gave you a quick summary of the online retail scene in Malaysia. It is definitely an exciting new market that should not be missed by opportunistic retailers.

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